The holidays can be an especially stressful time of year for small business owners. Managing multiple holiday time off requests, determining next year’s budget, navigating personal holiday issues, and conducting annual performance reviews are just a few of the demands owners face during this time of year.
Business owners should also be mindful of the possibility of employee turnover, which can spike in a new year. Some employees will finish the current year just to receive their annual bonuses. But, a new year is generally considered the best time for new opportunities and employees often use this time to seek perceived greener pastures.
This, in conjunction with an improving economic condition that has employees testing the waters for new opportunities, can leave businesses and employers in a lurch, especially when it is a top employee who is considering other opportunities.
How do today’s successful businesses retain their best employees, who may be fielding competitive offers or searching for new opportunities? Below are 10 tips employers should consider when developing a solid employee retention strategy:
- Offer a competitive employee benefits package that includes health care, dental, vision and prescription drug plans, as well as other components such as a 401(k) savings plan and disability and life insurance. If you already offer these plans, consider incorporating an additional benefit, such as assistance with daycare costs, a parking subsidy or tuition assistance.
- Provide opportunities for employees to develop and grow professionally by offering access to internal and external training sessions, mentoring programs and team building activities, all of which can help employees develop professionally and become a more tight-knit and cohesive group.
- Make it clear to employees that their contributions are vital to the company’s success. Seek out and listen to their ideas and feedback, they want respect and acknowledgment.
- Establish career paths so that employees can advance within the company, providing opportunities for promotion or cross-training to help keep them challenged.
- Reward employees for a job well done, and share their successes with others on the team. Decide what kind of performance to recognize, how it should be rewarded and how to communicate that reward. Employee recognition directly affects individual performance and the company’s bottom line.
- Look for and implement ways to have fun in the workplace -- merriment doesn’t have to hinder efficiency. In fact, there have been studies to show that it can complement productivity.
- Encourage creative brainstorming to overcome challenges or roadblocks.
- Allow employees to balance their work and personal lives by being flexible in scheduling, making sure to treat everyone fairly.
- Set clear expectations of employees, establishing and communicating standards of performance, conducting regular reviews and linking compensation to ongoing performance.
- Offer praise individually, but also publicly, recognizing hard work and creativity. Conversely, deliver constructive criticism in private. No one wants to be dressed down in front of co-workers.
Many of these tactics can be easily implemented, and may seem obvious, but they are frequently overlooked. Creating a comprehensive employee retention strategy helps employers ensure their workforce is happy and productive, reduce turnover, and encourage business success.
This article was co-written by Eric Bonugli and Kay Oder.
Eric Bonugli is a district manager and Kay Oder is a Certified Business Performance Advisor for Insperity located in the company’s Austin office. Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 27 years, provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance. For more information, call 800-465-3800 or visit http://www.insperity.com